IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes for

Co-Operation on Tokamak Programmes (TCP-CTP)

Short annual brief to the Fusion Power Co-ordinating Committee

Anual Briefing 2018

1.     Preface

The objective of this agreement is to advance the physics and technologies related to toroidal plasmas by strengthening cooperation among tokamak programmes, to enhance the effectiveness and productivity of the research and development effort related to the development of the tokamak fusion concept, to contribute to and extend the scientific and technology database of toroidal confinement concepts, and to provide a scientific and technological basis for the successful development of fusion power.


2.     ChairŐs report


The change of the Japanese Contracting Party to "QST Japan" has been finalised.


The Participation of AustraliaŐs Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) as a Contracting Party in the CTP IA became effective as of 7 June 2018.


Meetings related to the TCP-CTP included the 9th Executive Committee Meeting of the IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes for Co-Operation on Tokamak Programmes (TCP-CTP), Thursday 17 January 2019, ITER Headquarters, France; 9th International Tokamak Physics Activities (ITPA) Joint Experiments Workshop (JEX), 15-16 January 2019, ITER Council Room, ITER Headquarters, France; 19th  Meeting of the ITPA Coordinating Committee, CTP-ITPA JEX Planning Meeting, 15-16 January 2019, ITER Council Room, ITER Headquarters 72/5010, France; KSTAR Conference 2018 21-23 February, 2018 and PPPL Workshop on Theory and Simulation of Disruptions 16-18 July 2018.


The Website has been significantly upgraded, modernised and the information revised.


Status report and Milestones achieved


ITER Tokamak: ITER construction continues to advance at pace and moving forward towards the start of the assembly phase. Construction and manufacturing is on track for first plasma in 2025, with the 60% construction completion milestone reached at the end of 2018 and the bioshield finalized. The  latest update of the ITER Research Plan was published on 17 September 2018. A wide-ranging physics R&D programme, covered in many cases by the TCP-CTP, is addressing key issues impacting on the finalization of the ITER design and preparations for operation and it is important to maintain or even increase the commitment as ITER prepares for plasma operation.


EU Tokamaks (JET, ASDEX-Upgrade, TCV, MAST, WEST):


In order to keep the timeline inside 2020, it is necessary to reduce the JET experimental scope and priority has been given to experiments with the new JET Shattered Pellet Injector and to DT operation. Euratom, the ITER Organization and the US Department of Energy are collaborating on the test of the Shattered Pellet Injector at JET.  The system is now installed and commissioning is underway.  First pellets have been formed but not yet injected into JET plasmas.  Following some remedial work on the cryogenic subsystem, the present plan is to complete commissioning this spring with experiments planned for the summer of 2019. The AUG programme was delayed due to repair work leading to the start of the campaign in November 2018 and operation will continue until end July 2019. In TCV, the majority of the programme was executed despite small issues with the upper internal vertical-stabilisation coil and one of the X2 gyrotron prevented to complete some experiments. For MAST-U the construction phase was completed in 18th October 2018 and first plasma is foreseen for 2019. Good progress in WEST operation, with up to 5.5MW of injected power and 37 second pulse was achieved. The WEST tokamak was controlled from the Remote Experiment centre in Japan on 28th November 2018.


JT-60SA Tokamak (Japan): Fabrication and installation of components and systems of JT-60SA procured by EU and Japan are steadily progressing towards start of operation in April 2020 and the first plasma in September 2020. Up to Nov. 2018, all the 18 Toroidal Field coils, 6 Equilibrium Field Coils and 360-degree of the Vacuum Vessel have been assembled on schedule with sufficient accuracy. Manufacture of all the 4 Central Solenoid modules have been completed. Commissioning of the Superconducting Coil Power Supply integrating EU and JA procurements have been completed. The 7th Research Coordination Meeting (RCM-7) was held at QST Naka on 4-8 June 2018, in which 60 experts participated including a representative from ITER. Update of the JT-60SA Research Plan to Ver.4.0 (SARPv4.0) was completed in September 2018 with 435 co-authors.


EAST Tokamak (China) significant extension of the operational regime towards steady-state operation for ITER and CFETR was achieved, including long pulse steady-state H-mode operation with upper tungsten divertor achieved with integrated plasma control, saturated W-Divertor surface temperature after 10 seconds, good confinement and small ELMs. Recent experiments extended the steady-state high beta poloidal scenarios using Radio Frequency Heating and Current Drive only; and achieved 50% of bootstrap current using combined Neutral beam and Radio Frequency Heating and Current Drive.


HL-2A Tokamak (China) achieved Detachment during H-mode with the Gas pressure in the divertor increasing significantly without any change in the main chamber pressure; due to high compression and high pumping efficiency. ELM mitigation was studied using Lower Hybrid Current drive, laser Blow-Off and Super Molecular Beam and Pellet injection. ELM mitigation with LHCD led to significant reduction of the divertor heat load.


KSTAR (South Korea): Significant progress has been made in discharge development, including the development of a double Internal and External Transport Barriers triggered by turning off Electron Cyclotron Heating. Internal Transport Barriers were achieved at a magnetic field of 2.5 T in a discharge that lasted 20 seconds. A new record pulse length was achieved in KSTAR with Water-Cooled Plasma Facing Components. A Grassy-ELM Steady-State Hybrid Regime was produced with 3D fields. Significant progress on physics understanding of Resonant Magnetic Perturbations suppression of ELMs was achieved with divertor peak heat-flux and n=2 mode-locking control with 3D fields. An impurity powder dropper has been installed on KSTAR under the collaboration between NFRI and PPPL/DIII-D. The essential role of fast ions and Alfven Eigenmodes were identified on global confinement High-beta discharges. Stability, transport, and active MHD mode control analysis have been used on KSTAR high performance plasmas in support of disruption avoidance. The kink plasma response was measured using rotating Resonant Magnetic Perturbations.


DIII-D (US) has initiated over $20M of enhancements and infrastructure improvements as a user facility to maintain and advance its world-leading research capabilities and NSTX (US) has accelerated the recovery efforts.


ADITYA Tokamak (India) dismantled in 2015 and ADITYA-U reassembled in 2016 with new circular vacuum vessel, possibility of open divertor operations, and focus on Disruptions, Runaways and other MHD studies. Operational control over Runaway Electron content in ADITYA-U lead to Discharges with and without Runaways, the study of sawteeth generated Runaways and their transport and mitigation by Super Molecular Beam Injection. Reversal of carbon ion toroidal rotation in discharges with high density and Multiple Harmonics of Drift-Tearing Modes were studied.


SST-1 Tokamak (India) was mostly non-operational in 2018 due to technical issues in the Poloidal Field coil cooling.


Future plans


Europe has issued a revised roadmap to the realisation of fusion energy aiming at demonstrating fusion electricity early in the second half of the century, based on a number of technical assessment reports. The Roadmap, provides a coherent EU programme with a clear objective and avoids open-ended R&D. Various devices (ASDEX-Upgrade, MAST-Upgrade and TCV) are upgraded to accommodate plasma exhaust studies.


KSTAR (South Korea) upgrades are ongoing aiming at achieving 28 MW Heating and Current Drive with steady-state operation capability.


DIII-D (US) research plan is aimed at advancing the world towards fusion energy, focussing on critical ITER preparation, transients and development of validated simulation capability and developing a basis for tokamak path beyond ITER with high performance core and compatible boundary solution. Major ongoing tasks include: new co/counter off-axis neutral beam modification, the WorldŐs first top-launch ECCD capability; installation of helicon strip-line antenna and new and upgraded diagnostics.


In EAST (China) a new W lower divertor upgrade is scheduled in 2019, which includes Simple flat targets to reduce installation error and thus leading edges, a closed outer divertor and open inner divertor for balanced detachment and a water-cooled internal coil for X-divertor operation.


Engineering Test Reactor (CFETR), China: New Program for CFETR supported by MOST includes, overall design, overall project management and standardisation, Heating and Current Drive, Diagnostics and CODAC, Cryogenics, Vacuum Vessel, pumping system Cryostat and thermal shield, In-vessel components, power supplies, water cooling, remote handling assembly and maintenance, fuel recycling and disposal, radioprotection and safety.